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Friday, April 13, 2012


When confronted by opponents are you more likely to “fight” or “flee”?  Why?  What does that say about you?  (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p.260).

Closely related to how one responds to the challenges presented by others is the way one responds to any challenge, say those presented by a difficult task.  Does one then choose to “fight” or “flee”?  Here “fight” could include determination, persistence, courage, and patience whereas “flee” could include being easily discouraged, running away from the situation, being easily intimidated by a challenge, and being easily frustrated.  I at once think of Winston Churchill during World War II days.  As he chose to fight Nazism on the battlefield, he equally chose to meet every problem of whatever type with staunch determination.  As he did not run away from Hitler, neither did he run away from everyday coincidental tests.  He had the tenacity of a bull dog in the face of any challenge.  One of his brief exchanges epitomizes this gumption—Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”  Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it” (Source).  Let’s face it; we love an individual who is not a shrinking violet.  It tells us that a person is comfortable with who they are and confident that they can hold their own in any challenge.  They let others have whatever opinion they like; they are self-assured enough to understand that they do not have to accept whatever judgment others may render about them.  Some years ago there were a lot of classes on “being assertive.”  That is, say in the face of a bully, one can stand up to the pressure because the bully has no control over one’s self-concept or self-respect.  It is not necessary to neither stoop to their level nor allow them to determine the manner of your response.  For example the bully may insult your leadership abilities, but you do not have to accept his evaluation of what leadership is all about much less accept his view of you.  Being assertive is seen to be a good and healthy state of mind and action. In the end one’s response to challenges arises from the essence of who you are, not determined by others or the awesomeness of the task.

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